From the Editor...
Editor Chris Peachment introduces you to the February 2013 issue of Best of British.
Do you remember the days when the AA man, in full uniform and gauntlets astride a yellow motorbike with sidecar, used to salute you if you had an AA badge on the front bumper?
This question is now so old among motorists that it is a cliché. But there was a reason for the salute.
If you failed to get a salute, which was a punishable offence for the patrolman, then it meant that the police were around the next corner with a speed trap.
Motoring nowadays is devoid of pleasure. With the driver strapped inside a fortified capsule with power assisted controls, standardised instrument layout and even a machine that tells him where to go, the modern production line car can be instantly driven off anywhere by any fool.
Our February issue celebrates a time when motoring was a pleasure.
When a driver had to know how to swing a starting handle, know when to decrease the choke, and know how to double de-clutch.
When if he wanted to know where to go, he stopped and consulted a map, and looked at a signpost or a milestone.
A time before wardens stalked the land, generating huge fortunes for their greedy councils.
Before motorways turned everyone into crash test dummies.
As the great man of the 18th century, Dr Johnson, said “If I had no duties… I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman.” Read on, and let’s go for a drive. "